Grosjean takes back-to-back Driver of the Weekend wins

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Romain Grosjean has become the first back-to-back Driver of the Weekend winner since 2014.

The Haas driver’s combative run to fifth place in the Bahrain Grand Prix was widely admired, though he won a much smaller share of the vote than after taking the team’s breakthrough points finish in Australia.

With 39.4% of the vote, Grosjean became the first winner of consecutive Driver of the Weekend polls since 2014. But the performances of other drivers including rookie Stoffel Vandoorne also caught your eye during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Romain Grosjean’s Bahrain Grand Prix weekend

Haas took on the top teams
Unlike Australia two weeks ago, Haas and Grosjean showed strong pace in practice and from the off it looked as the new outfit could potentially challenge for a spot in Q3. But as it happened he was pleased to lose his spot in the final shoot out to Nico Hulkenberg meaning he could start ninth on a fresh set of tyres.

A clean start saw Grosjean jump from ninth on the grid to sixth at the end of lap one at the expense of Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. From there Haas ran an aggressive strategy to keep Grosjean in touch with the faster cars.

Three stints on super-softs followed by a soft stint to end the race meant Grosjean was almost always appearing in someone’s mirrors. He managed his tyres well and managed to run as high as fourth at one stage in the race. Well-executed passes on the likes of Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo put smiles on the faces of the Haas team who surely never expected to be racing the likes of Williams and Red Bull so soon.

Three stops was a brave strategy for a team who’d never done a racing pit stop before and the inexperience showed. But with Grosjean finishing 16 seconds behind fourth-placed Daniel Ricciardo, it’s doubtful it cost him a better finish. Fifth place without the aid of the mid-race interruption seen in Australia was an impressive achievement.

Have to go with Grosjean because of the super aggressive super-soft tyre strategy that propelled him to fifth place. He was able to take great advantage of overtaking in order to keep the strategy alive.
DanimalHouse (@thrillerwa09)

I am going with Grosjean again. Sure, the car may be a bit better than we thought it was in Australia, but he still had to make the strategy work and that meant being super agressive and not killing the Pirellis. He made all the important passes and managed to stear clear of any mistake.
Tango (@tango)

However, @vvans was quick to point out that maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to see Grosjean and Haas so high:

I love the fact Grosjean is living the dream there at Haas. If anyone deserves it is him. However, without taking any credit away from him or his team, I get the feeling he winning this poll again due to the fact everybody expected to have a new Manor, HRT or Catherham.

The truth is though, that Haas is simply unbelievably quick. Probably the fourth or fifth quickest car behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend and I would say on par with Toro Rosso (see also how quick Gutierrez was before he had to retire).
HRT (@vvans)

Bahrain Grand Prix winners and losers

Vandoorne impressed in Alonso’s car
Second in the standings this week with just over 25% of the vote was Stoffel Vandoorne, who picked up one point in his maiden race. Pascal Wehrlein also showed well in the poll with just over 10%.

It has to be Vandoorne. No testing, flew in overnight to shock the establishment. Beat Button on qualifying, which is not that special anyway. First weekend, clean start, clean race, and a point which is more than McLaren could deliver.
Pennyroyal tea (@peartree)

Wehrlein anyone? That’s where my vote went, lightning in qualifying and took it to both Sauber and Renault in the race in his little Manor, he was excellent.
Ben (@scuderia29)

Ricciardo picked up surprisingly few votes after a strong qualifying lap and another emphatic victory over his team mate.

And the Force India pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez received not a single vote between them after early incidents ruined both of their races. It was a disappointing race for the team at a track where the car should have been strong.

Yeah I think he’s (Ricciardo) gone under the radar a bit, but he’s definitely getting the maximum a driver could from that car.
Mike (@mike)

Finally, @Mashiat wanted to vote for the one driver who turned up in Bahrain prepared but never got to race:

In DOTW, is there a requirement to vote only for drivers who have participated in the race? I, for one, would like to vote for Alonso as the DOTW, for his sick burn into the face of Johnny Herbert.
Mashiat (@mashiat)

2016 Bahrain Grand Prix

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26 comments on “Grosjean takes back-to-back Driver of the Weekend wins”

  1. Can’t take anything away from his performance, but just how good is the Ferrari-B.
    We shouldn’t equate Haas with HRT and Caterham or for that matter, Manor.
    The path with which Haas took to F1 wasn’t available to the above teams.
    Torro Rosso was even prevented from collaborating with the senior sister team.
    Though they have worked hard, but Haas had a very easy route to success.

    1. I don’t get why many people have such a big problem with the Haas-Ferrari co-operation – or with custom cars in general.
      It’s not a new idea. Tyrrell entered with Matra and March chassis for their first years, before becoming innovators with the six-wheeler or by introducing the high nose.
      Torro Rosso also made a successful transition from customer team to independent manufacturer.
      I have rather that than another HRT or Caterham.

    2. pastaman (@)
      8th April 2016, 13:00

      So easy it only took 6 years to put together

    3. Toro Rosso used the same or the previous Red Bull chassis in their first 4 seasons.

    4. You’re not going to tell me that this “very easy” route is unprecedented, I assume? (Hesketh, a few Lotus customers that didn’t get the unibody, maybe even Ferrari?)

    5. It is not a Ferrari B, it is a Haas.

      Easy route? You must be on of the people that were saying how difficult it would be for Haas.

      Eat some crow,it is good for you.

      I love it, Haas is a contender and all of you nay sayers have to suck it up.

  2. I think people are massively underestimating Haas’ race pace. Grosjean did pretty good job, no doubt, but I thought Vandoorne was the obvious DOTW.

    1. @huhhii I concur. Grosjean definitely deserved the DotW nod in Melbourne in my eyes, but I think it’s always more impressive for a rookie to put on a solid performance in their first race like Vandoorne did. You only get one debut grand prix, after all.

  3. @huhhii Agree, but still a major drive by Grosjean. The Ferrari seat looks even nearer for him now. Hope it happens.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    8th April 2016, 14:09

    Personally I think Wehrlein should have taken DOTW honours. He was outstanding!

  5. I’m surprised Wehrlien didn’t get more votes, he was truly outstanding all weekend.

    1. And to think he almost didnt get an F1 seat…

    2. How good is Wehrlein? Manor is powered by a 2016 Mercedes PU and has a Williams gearbox and suspension, I have no idea where they should be right now.

  6. Thanks for the quote Keith. After a replay I still believe Grosjean merits DoTW. 5th when you have at best the 4th best car is quite good. I still believe they’ll battle for 10th or beyond once the others stop dropping the ball and Grosjean doesn’t have perfect week ends.

  7. Well deserved, correct drivers got votes… See Bernie, democracy does work.

  8. I think it should have been one of the following 3, Ricciardo and Verstappen for exceeding expectations and Vandoorne for bringing home a point for McLaren in his first ever F1 race.

    1. I was strongly considering a Ricciardo vote until Keith’s summary reminded me that he tapped someone during the race.

      1. @grippgoat Ricciardo didn’t tap somebody on purpose. Basically, when Bottas spun Hamilton around, Ricciardo took avoiding action but the right side of his front wing grazed the chassis of Hamilton, and that’s how he got the damage. Not his fault at all as there was nothing he could do. He was just another victim.

  9. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    8th April 2016, 18:13

    Topic aside, and given the reliability and pace of the Haas, I think it’s time Haas changes to a more striking, more American-pride livery, because they will start to appear more often on the American media if this good performance continuous.

    1. @omarr-pepper It’s the corporate colors of Haas Automation, the single most important reason Haas F1 is on the grid at all, both as the money behind it and the company in need of promotion outside the US. So, don’t bet on the livery changing any time soon if ever

  10. ColdFly F1 (@)
    8th April 2016, 19:40

    Congratulations to Grosjean.
    As much as I agree with his Bahrain DOTW win (even taking into account a better than expected Haas), I still don’t think he should have been DOTW in Melbourne. I challenge you all to watch that race again and spot one moment he showed something special, especially now we know the car is no ‘dud’.

  11. Once labeled “The first lap nutcase”…and for good reason. Now he is showing race craft. I always saw the potential of this guy and supported him. Now I am proud he is giving his all for my new home team. Use strategy to its full potential until you get the pace. I’m loving it..Go team Haas!

    1. Looking back to his career, it’s great that he could have a second shot at F1 ! His first stint with Renault was promising, but he is now much more consistent !

  12. I think Haas is just making Sauber, Manor, Force India, Renault and McLaren look like amateurs.. How is it possible a new team can accomplish what all these teams have failed to accomplish for years. They should be ashamed of themselves, McLaren especially!

    1. The only problem I have with Haas’s approach is that it’s used as a stick with which to beat other teams. Teams which haven’t had the same route open to them have no reason to feel ashamed.

  13. No Ferrari engine issues with Haas till now.

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